Review of The Howling

The Howling (1981)
Dante's tribute to the werewolf movie - A worthy companion to American Werewolf in London (spoilers)
2 November 2003
Warning: Spoilers
Joe Dante, most famous for the creature feature "Gremlins," is obviously a big-time werewolf fan. "The Howling" is littered with references to werewolf movies and werewolf movie actors (Lon Chaney Jr., anyone?), in addition to being a good werewolf movie in its own right.

The makeup effects displayed here are roughly equal to Rick Baker's famous work on "American Werewolf in London" (Baker was a special effects makeup consultant on "The Howling"). We get another real-time transformation from man to beast, and it looks pretty good, even by today's standards.

The story is a bit dodgy, and slightly off-pace with too many lingering shots of the woods outside the Colony. The acting is mostly crisp, with standout performances by Karen White and a young Robert Picardo (yes, THAT Robert Picardo of Star Trek Voyager fame). "Bright Boy" himself, Dennis Dugan, isn't bad either.

When put to a direct comparison, I'd say "American Werewolf" edges out "The Howling" by a tad. But it's comparing apples to oranges, of course.

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